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The Colony of Unrequited Dreams


Wayne Johnston is a brilliant and accomplished writer' Annie Proulx

Shortlisted for two major literary awards in Canada, Wayne Johnston's epic novel of his native Newfoundland has been universally praised in the United States and in Britain. Taking the career of Newfoundland's first premier, Joseph Smallwood, as its starting point, it is a mystery, a love story and a tragi-comic elegy to an impossible country stranded on the brink of the world.

'Ambitious and sweeping . . . it weaves around Smallwood a glowing fiction threaded through with the story of the island itself. As with The Shipping News, the unforgiving landscape of the island is wonderfully captured' Dominic Bradbury, The Times

'An insider's paean of love and regret for his vanished land' Marcel Berlins, National Post (Ottowa)

'Mesmerizing . . . a novel of cavernous complexity that nevertheless doesn't overwhelm the reader, who can repose in pure narrative without a second thought' Luc Sante, New York Times Book Review

'A long, impassioned, absorbing novel . . . bravura storytelling' Denis Drabelle, Washington Post

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Wayne Johnston

Wayne Johnston was born and raised in Goulds, Newfoundland. After a brief stint in pre-Med, Wayne obtained a BA in English from Memorial University. He worked as a reporter for the St. John's Daily News before deciding to devote himself full-time to writing.

En route to being published, Wayne earned an MA (Creative Writing) from the University of New Brunswick. Then he got off to a quick start. His first book, The Story of Bobby O'Malley, published when he was just 27 years old, won the WH Smith/Books in Canada First Novel award for the best first novel published in the English language in Canada in that year. Subsequent books consistently received critical praise and increasing public attention. The Divine Ryans was adapted to the silver screen in a production starring Academy Award winner Pete Postlethwaite - Wayne wrote the screenplay. Baltimore's Mansion, a memoire dealing with his grandfather, his father and Wayne himself was tremendously well received and won the most prestigious prize for creative non-fiction awarded in Canada - the Charles Taylor Prize. Both The Colony of Unrequited Dreams and The Navigator of New York spent extended periods of time on bestseller lists in Canada and have also been published in the US, Britain, Germany, Holland, China and Spain. Colony was identified by the Globe and Mail newspaper as one of the 100 most important Canadian books ever produced (including both fiction and non-fiction).

Wayne has always been something of a natural athlete - for example, he was once part of a championship ball-hockey team. Luckily (in retrospect) when he was still in the formative stages of considering future career paths, his ice hockey equipment, which was carefully stowed in a garbage bag in the basement was accidentally put out with the trash. The world of literature benefited; is is possible that the National Hockey League lost a star in the process?

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